Do you dream of making delicious light Hot Cross Buns every year but just seem to end up with rock cakes? Why not try some or all of these tips gathered by the All About Whitianga team when making your Hot Cross Buns this year.
There’s nothing like the smell of Hot Cross Buns just out of the oven. But what’s the trick to light and fluffy Hot Cross buns? If you’ve had a few attempts that have not lived up to expectations, then why not try a few of these tricks we have researched this year!
Prepare your ingredients
- Use High Grade Flour – you are making bread, so you need flour for bread making not baking.
- Active Yeast – it’s important to check that your yeast hasn’t expired and is still active. If you are not sure test it by adding a teaspoon of sugar, ¼ cup of warm water with your yeast. Wait 10 minutes. If its bubbly and has that yeasty aroma you are good to go.
- Weigh your ingredients – remember this is science!
- Soak your fruit – if you soak your fruit, this helps keep your dough moist. Dried fruit will take moisture from your dough, so soaking in fruit juice or water will help.
- Use buttermilk or scald your milk – some expert bakers swear by buttermilk or scalding their milk first (and cooling) to use in their hot cross buns.
- Add a little cocoa – just a teaspoon or two will add a bit of colour to your mixture.
You need to knead properly
- Kneading – the experts say you need to knead properly (and for what seems like forever!) so the gluten strands bind. The test of holding up a piece and stretching it out so you can read through it shows, you have kneaded it enough. If you are over kneading a trick is to let it sit and rise for 20 mins and then try again.
Before the buns are in the oven
- Place them close on a tray – to get the stuck together look and delicious soft edges, place them close enough together on you tray so when they rise and are cooked you have to pull apart.
- Cover with an oven tray – some bakers recommend covering your rising buns with a upturned roasting dish and leaving it on for the first 10 minutes in the oven
- Spray with water and use a hot oven – grab your spray bottle and give your buns a good spray before placing into a hot oven. After about 10 mins, open the door to let the steam out and then close again to finish cooking.
Bringing the buns out of the oven
- Use golden syrup to glaze – don’t worry about making a sugar syrup, golden syrup do the job nicely.
- Let the cooked buns sit after cooking – it’s tempting to just scoff them down as soon as they are out of the oven, but let them sit for 10 – 20 minutes, it will get rid of the doughy texture, as they’ll finish cooking and dry out inside.
We would love to see your efforts and let us know if these ideas are helpful.
Wishing you a light and fluffy Easter!